I’ve still got tens of thousands of baseball cards in my basement from back in the day, but I haven’t bought a new one in nearly 20 years. Just sort of lost interest, even if I still love my old ones. My mom showed up at my house today, however, with a box of those new Topps 206 cards, figuring that I might like them. And I do like them, if for no other reason than it makes me happy that my mom was thinking about me when she was at the store. Moms are cool.
So I’m opening up the packages and I’m looking at them this morning when my six year-old daughter comes into the room. She picks one up — a Nick Markakis “relic” card with a scrap of one of his game-worn jerseys in it.
“Why is this one different than the others,” she says.
“Well, it has a little piece of his uniform in it,” I said.
“Why?” Anna says.
“Because some people like to collect stuff like that.”
“That’s pretty stupid,” says Anna, “People should just be happy with their own shirts.”
And thus I am reminded why I haven’t bought any baseball cards in nearly 20 years.
An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.
As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.
While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.